Good Juniper material?

Cliff D

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Hi,
I am new to bonsai and found a local nursery owner who has a large number of old variegated junipers. They have beautiful trunks and nice curves, but they were crowded in together and have long spindly branches. The issue is that I don't know how hard it will be to get back budding. How long would it take and is it possible to get these full enough to cut them back to a nice size? I have purchased two of them. Are these good bonsai material and should I buy more? Any suggestions on increasing vigor and causing back budding would be greatly appreciated.

Also, are variegated Junipers desirable and how much would these trees be worth in their current state?

First Tree:

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Second Tree:

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Tidal Bonsai

Omono
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As someone else who is new to bonsai, I would say not to worry about the value and how good they are. Cut them, break them, wire them, dremel them and have fun with them. Abused pieces of nursery stock are a great learning tool before you go on to better and better material. Take these two trees, and spend each day trying to make them better.
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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They have decent trunks, that in itself is reason to be hopeful. They would be good practice for grafting and the results would make the effort worth the time, not to mention the experience they would provide.
 

Cliff D

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Thanks for the suggestion Vance. Do you think grafting is the only option or just the best option? I will have to start researching grafting.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Jockin' Cliff D to my dismay.

Welcome to Crazy!

There's a couple sexy trunk lines in there.

Full sun no cut.
Water. Water.

Sorce
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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Thanks for the suggestion Vance. Do you think grafting is the only option or just the best option? I will have to start researching grafting.
It is possible that a decent bonsai could be made of the tree but the sad thing is by the time the trees start maturing into bonsai the nature of the varigated foliage will have revealed itself as being inferior for bonsai. However they are Chinese Junipers genitically and grafting should be little problem. You could start by grafting some Shimpaku Juniper lower on the trunks and start regrowing the trees with this far superior cultivar and in the same amount of time you should have a decent Juniper, with decent trunks with decent futures.
 

Cliff D

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That is a compelling argument. I was concerned about the foliage, but I don't know enough to rule it out. Ill let them grow for a year while I learn how to do that.
 

Cliff D

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This guy feels the same way.

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